Tech companies plan to build smart vaccine passports

Tech companies plan to build smart vaccine passports

Some countries already started vaccinating their populations against Covid-19. The governments hope that it will effectively curb the virus. However, the idea of simultaneously creating digital “vaccine passports” is also gathering pace. Among those leading the way, the Icelandic, Estonian, Hungarian governments have signed up to pilot a new technology that will enable people who have received the vaccine to prove their health credentials simply with the scan of a QR code.


The platform is called VaccineGuard, and its goal is to link between various agents. This will begin from the vaccine’s point of manufacture and going all the way to the border guard controlling an individual traveller. Thus, it will create a system and share reliable information about the immunization process across myriad different sources and countries.


For citizens, this platform would be a digital version of the vaccine certification document. The World Health Organization (WHO) has already issued such certificate, known as the yellow card. It carries individuals’ vaccination records and works as an internationally recognized medical passport.  


However, VaccineGuard offers some technological upgrades. When administering a vaccine, doctors will be required to generate a digital certificate in the form of a QR code. Patients will also be able to access it through an app, via email, or as a printout. This code will act as verified proof of vaccination, and people can display it when required – whether that is to travel, to attend a public event or to go back to work.


Which company is creating this platform? 


Guardtime is the provider of this platform. The company recently announced a partnership with vaccine manufacturer AstraZeneca in Estonia. That connection will help to further expand the scope of VaccineGuard’s data ecosystem. Vaccine manufacturers plan to use blockchain technology to serialize the vials they produce and create a birth certificate of sorts. As a result, they will be able to track products all the way to their point of administration.  


This will play a key role in ensuring that no jabs are counterfeit. Besides, VaccineGuard will also enable health authorities to check that the number of Covid-19 vaccine certifications issued on the platform definitely match the number of delivered and administered vaccines.


According to Ain Aaviksoo, the chief medical officer of Guardtime, the end-goal of this project is to cement the reliability of the vaccination process. It will also ensure that when a citizen presents their digital vaccination certificate, the officials effectively verify their health credentials’ validity.